The 2012-13 TV season starts here

Yes, it’s finally time to Go On.
The 2012-13 TV season doesn’t officially begin for another week-and-a-half, but some new shows are already sneaking onto schedules. Tuesday night, for example, Matthew Perry’s new comedy Go On (9 p.m., NBC, Global), Guys With Kids (9:30 p.m., Global) and The New Normal (9:30, NBC/CTV) all air in their regular timeslot premieres. All have already had Olympic lead-in sneak peaks and been offered at streaming sites as networks use every tool they can to get folks to sample the new wares.
The new button on the right, above–just under the “TV Feeds My Family” banner–will take you to capsule reviews of the new network comedies and dramas airing on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. The list for the rest of the week will be up shortly.
Those looking for an impactful year–especially Canadian network programmers–will be disappointed. I can’t remember a blander, less exciting collection of fall network TV shows. There are some mid-season gems–especially Fox’s grim but compelling The Follower–but for now there’s just a whole lot of video wallpaper.
Maybe this is because, as NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt basically told us at TCA in July, the networks are no longer out to win awards or impress critics. With the benchmark for what constitutes a hit network show slipping to around ten million U.S. viewers, networks are programming simple concepts (The Mob Doctor, Vegas, Beauty and the Beast) in hopes unchallenging fare is what America wants right now when it takes off its books and zones out in front of the set.
Or perhaps it is just a dry year on the creative or original front. There are sparks of new out there. The Mindy Show has promise. So, maybe, does Ben & Kate. Some viewers will love Nashville and even Vegas. Last Resort looks cool.
As for Canadian content, get out your microscope. CBC premieres its new reality show Under the Rainbow Sunday at 8 (two hours). Its about the search for a new Dorothy to play in a stage version of The Wizard of Oz, but more fun may be the simultaneous search for a new Toto. Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath are among the fido judges.
If there’s an NHL strike, CBC may have to bring back Don Messer and Hymn Sing. Seriously, I have some public domain 16mm films in my basement if they’re stuck.
Jump to the FALL PREVIEW 2012-13 Mon, Tues., Wed page here.

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